women using pepper spray

Being able to defend yourself is very important. Learning self- defense through classes, online, or through martial arts is a great way to start. However, some people like to carry weapons as well in case they get into a really dire situation.

You may ask what is the best non-lethal self-defense weapon? We feel that pepper spray is the best non-lethal weapon you can carry. Many states and cities allow you to carry and use it. It is a really effective weapon for stopping an attacker. There are many more weapons and we will review them in this article.

If you are old enough and want to get a concealed carry, it is a great way to keep your safety and feel safe at all times. Having a concealed carry permit could really give you peace of mind.

But, if you do not want to own a gun, there are many options for non-lethal weapons that will just as easily (less violently) get you out of a bad situation.

It is always a good thing to keep some sort of small non-lethal weapon on you.

You never know when something could happen and it is just a smart idea to constantly have pepper spray or a personal alarm on your keychain, in your pocket, in your purse, etc.

There have been many times where a victim has been involved in an attack but had accidentally left their pepper spray or mace at home. Don’t be the person who has the key to safety but didn’t have it in an emergency.

You always have the right to defend yourself.

Here are some examples of non-lethal weapons, how you should use them, and how they will get you out of a bad situation safely.

Mace & Pepper Spray

These are common substances used to defend yourself against an attacker.

You may have heard about carrying mace or pepper spray several times in your life. This is because they are both really incredible at dropping an attacker to the ground just long enough for you to get away, get help, and get to safety.

You should not solely rely on mace or pepper spray to help you as physical fighting skills will benefit you in any situation.

It is important to understand a few things about mace and pepper spray as they are strong substances. If you have any kids around you make sure that they do not get ahold of these.

Most pepper spray will have directions that tell you the span of where the pepper spray works. Most will work within a range of four to fifteen feet away from your attacker.

Pepper spray needs to be shaken up occasionally to maintain the chemical effectiveness and it will not work if kept in too hot or too cold of temperatures. This means that if you keep it in your car during extreme temperatures, it may not work when you need it most.

Make sure you test by shooting the spray into the yard. You want to make sure everything works.

When you spray pepper spray, it could get on you and also affect you so be aware of that when using it. If you shoot the spray into a wind that is blowing towards you then you will get residual spray in your eyes.

I know if attacked you can’t adjust where you stand so just be prepared to have some spray come back onto you.

Effects of pepper spray

The main effect of mace and pepper spray is to spray it in your attacker’s face which causes temporary sight loss and burning.

It also causes temporary uncontrollable coughing and gasping. All of the constrictions that pepper spray and mace cause really deter any person from continuing an attack.

If your attacker can’t breathe and can barely see you, how are they going to continue to attack you?

They can try, but they will not be able to be nearly as successful as they were before you sprayed them. The sight loss and burning that the spray causes for the attacker will give you time to get out of a situation.

It is also important to know that everyone is affected by these substances but the chemical agents actually affect everyone differently.

It is important to understand that this will stop an attacker that may come your way, but to what effect you can never be sure. Anything that will help stop an attack is a good thing to have.

If you have pepper spray or mace you should feel safer knowing that you always have a backup plan in a life or death situation. Basically, if you ever need to use mace or pepper spray, you want to aim for the attacker’s face.

I was sprayed in college by a police officer when I had stormed the field after a big football game.

The police were just pepper-spraying everyone. I fell to the ground and could not see for at least 2 hours. The burning was just terrible so I know this stuff works.

Stun Guns/Tasers

Another very useful and non-lethal weapon used for self-defense happens to be a stun gun.

A stun gun is basically designed to temporarily immobilize a person (attacker) by shocking them with electrical voltage. This is a good way to immobilize an attacker without causing serious injuries to yourself or the assailant.

Now when most people hear the word stun gun, they know it will be as painful and detrimental as the stun gun that you see police personal use or on television.

The types of stun guns used for self-defense are powerful enough to shock attackers and drop them to the ground so they are unable to keep attacking you. They are not as powerful as police stun guns but they do the job that was intended.

The range for a Taser should be about the same as using pepper spray. If you use a taser against someone for anything other than self-defense reasons, it is considered illegal and you could be fined.

It is also important to realize that stun guns and Tasers are two different things. A stun gun must make direct contact with the target and can only be used once you are twenty-one in most states.

Tasers you shoot projectiles at the attacker. The projectiles penetrate the skin and the taser gun sends an electrical current through the wire and into the attacker.

Taser you can only use once then you have to reload the projectiles with a new cartridge.

Stun Guns

Stun guns you can use multiple times against the same attacker or multiple attackers. The stun gun does not last forever sooner or later you have to recharge them.

It would definitely be easier to use pepper spray to defend yourself against multiple people attacking you.

Just like the mace and pepper spray, stun guns or tasers affect everyone differently and there is no absolute guarantee that it will stop every attacker.

It is important to know that however, it is also important to know that you have better chances of getting out of a bad situation if you have one of these non-lethal weapons. You would rather be safe than sorry.

Personal Alarm

Getting a personal alarm is also another great idea for self-defense. You can easily keep them on a keychain, connected to your belt, connected to your purse, or even as an app on your phone.

Do the research to figure out what type of personal alarm is best for you.

These are meant to keep you safe as alarms do for homes. You can press the button anytime you feel extremely in danger and it lets out a loud screeching warning sound.

Another similar device that people use is a rape whistle which let out screeching noises when you blow on them to get others attention to come helps you.

Personal alarms are more advanced and probably the better option, but if you can’t get one then rape whistles can always help as well.

There are so many different companies that specialize in personalized alarms to help in self-defense situations. There are even specific ones for children that could give your child or any children you know some safety as well.

Anything can be a weapon

If you do find yourself in a bad situation and you do not have any of these non-lethal weapons to help protect yourself, do not be afraid to use anything around you as a weapon.

Anything that will stop your attacker even for a moment could make a huge difference. If you have a bag or anything else on you, use this to deter your attacker.

Your belongings are not as important as your life.

Anything can be a weapon if it needs to be. You can grab a stick on the ground, use your purse to swing at them. You need to use anything around you so grab a rock or brick to hit them.

Everything around you can be a weapon. In these cases, you just have to do whatever you need to do to get out of the situation safely.

Phone apps

You can download an app on your phone that will allow you to send an alert to friends, police or fire that you are in trouble.

Here are some to check out:

Life 360

I use this app to track my family. It tells me where they are at all the time. Your child, family, or friends must have their phone with them for this to work.

  • Crash detection and emergency response capability
  • Driving analysis
  • Open the app and see where family members are located
  • Chat with family and friends
  • You set up who is in your circle
  • Life 360 App


This is another app that can alert friends and family if you are in danger. It also has many other capabilities that you can check out.

  • SOS button
  • Voice activation
  • SOS activated it will record
  • Live streaming once activated your friends or family can see what is happening real-time
  • Guardians set up your own personal security network
  • Follow me
  • Sirene alarm to scare off attackers
  • BSafe App


You will want to check out this great app and load it to your phone.

  • Send emergency SMS to your contacts
  • Inform contacts of a current location
  • You can activate distress through phone
  • Has whistle voice use it to get attention
  • SOS App

Red Panic Button

Does what it says to send out a panic notice if you press the app.

  • Send distress message
  • Use to get emergency medical care
  • Kids and teens can use to call for help
  • Red Panic Button

These are all great apps that you can use to keep you safe and also help keep the family safe. You will have to see which one best fits your needs then you need to download to your phone and get familiar with what it does.


Overall, there are so many different ways that you can defend yourself. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to self-defense at all.

Basically, it is just good to be prepared and to think about these sorts of situations even though they are hard to think about. If you have at least a little knowledge and training you’re already one step ahead.

You want to get whatever weapon you feel the most comfortable carrying around and using. This is all about making sure that you will be able to get yourself out of any sort of bad event safely.

Do the research that you need to do in order to be fully prepared in any sort of event and find a non-lethal weapon that you would actually use in case of an emergency.

None of these are better than the others and you never know how an attacker is actually going to react to these weapons, so it is good to just be prepared.

Even if you do not stop or immobilize an attacker, you at least can stall them enough to get to safety and in the end that is all that really matters.

You may also like: Self Defense Basics (How to End an Attack)

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